U.S. News

Shots - Health News
8:29 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Federal Judge Strikes Down Restrictions On Morning-After Pill

Plan B is one of two emergency contraceptives available in the U.S.
UPI/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 1:01 pm

A federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., has ruled that the morning-after pill for emergency contraception must be made available over the counter to girls 16 and under.

The ruling could end a more than decade-long battle over how easy or difficult it should be for teenage girls to obtain emergency contraception. The ruling would also make it easier for older women to obtain the drug because it wouldn't have to be kept behind drugstore counters anymore.

Read more
Media
1:17 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Is The Company Behind Rodman's Korea Visit The Future Of Media?

Vice founder Shane Smith attends the premiere screening for the MTV series The Vice Guide To Everything in New York City in December 2010. Vice's new documentary series on HBO launches Friday.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 1:17 pm

How did Dennis Rodman end up having dinner with Kim Jong Un in North Korea? It was the idea of Vice Media, which has grown from a counterculture magazine into a full-fledged youth media conglomerate.

Friday night, it premieres a documentary series on HBO, a kind of coming-out moment into the mainstream.

'I Wish We Were Weirder'

Read more
The Salt
4:35 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

NYC's Fast-Food Workers Strike, Demand 'Living Wages'

Demonstrators from the Fast Food Forward rally protest Thursday outside a Wendy's restaurant in New York City.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

Fast-food restaurants were a little bit slower Thursday in New York City. Hundreds of workers staged a one-day strike in what organizers are calling the biggest job action ever in that industry. It's a growing segment of the economy, but workers complain that fast-food jobs don't pay enough to survive in New York City.

Read more
Education
2:35 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

UCLA Program Hopes To Recruit More Latin American Doctors

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Here in the United States, 25 percent of doctors are foreign-born. Many of them move from India or countries in the Middle East, few come from Latin America despite its relative proximity to the U.S. A program at UCLA is trying to change that as Jenny Gold reports.

JENNY GOLD, BYLINE: When Jose Chavez Gonzales moved to the U.S., he took any job he could get: cleaning houses, stocking warehouses, construction.

JOSE CHAVEZ GONZALES: I learned how to do a lot of things like flooring, walls, painting.

Read more
Economy
2:35 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Structural Or Cyclical? The Type Of Unemployment Matters

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

Every week, the Department of Labor issues data detailing the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits in the previous week. According to Thursday's report, 385,000 people filed last week, the third weekly increase in a row, and a higher figure than expected. Robert Siegel talks with Adam Davidson about this week's initial claims report. Davidson says the report can help illuminate the vital question of whether the United States has a cyclical or a structural unemployment problem.

Law
2:35 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

States Head In Different Directions On Gun Legislation

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There's an interesting dynamic to gun legislation after a calamitous tragedy. Many states, like Oregon, set out to make gun controls tougher. We've also seen that today in Connecticut, which extended background checks, limited magazine size and banned some semi-automatic weapons.

GOVERNOR DANNEL MALLOY: We can take action here in Connecticut and we can make Connecticut towns and cities safer and this bill does that.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:19 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Oregon Weighs Own Gun Measures After Mall Shooting, Newtown

Gun rights supporters rally at the Oregon Capitol in February.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

Oregon state lawmakers have scheduled a marathon public hearing Friday on four gun control bills. The proposals include a ban on guns in schools and criminal background checks for private gun sales.

Opponents are lining up against the measures, but some gun control advocates say the proposals don't go far enough.

Read more
Remembrances
2:17 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

For Pulitzer Winner Critic Roger Ebert, Films Were A Journey

Ebert works in his office at the WTTW-TV studios in Chicago on Jan. 12, 2011.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

He won a Pulitzer Prize for his writing, but just as influential as his print essays were his "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" movie reviews. Film critic Roger Ebert died Thursday after struggling for years with cancer. He was 70 years old.

His thumb may have made him famous on TV, but Ebert was first and foremost a print journalist. He worked on newspapers in grade school, high school and college. With his acumen for writing came a love of movies — and on July 12, 2005, proclaimed Roger Ebert Day by the city of Chicago, he told a crowd of admirers why movies matter.

Read more
Commentary
11:23 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Even Dictionaries Grapple With Getting 'Marriage' Right

Geoff Nunberg says a good definition extends to the past as well as the present: It's not just about what "marriage" has come to mean; it's all the word has ever meant.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:12 pm

It's a funny thing about dictionaries. First we're taught to revere them, then we have to learn to set them aside. Nobody ever went wrong starting a middle-school composition with, "According to Webster's ..." but that's not how you start an op-ed commentary about terrorism or racism. When it comes to the words that do the cultural heavy lifting, we're not about to defer to some lexicographer hunched over a dusty keyboard.

Read more
Around the Nation
9:56 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Hotels Hiding The Homeless

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:15 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, you probably know Jada Pinkett Smith as an actress from films like "Set it Off" or "Jason's Lyric," but she is going to tell us about a film she is supporting behind the scenes. It's a documentary about the 1960s icon Angela Davis. She executive produced it. That conversation is coming up in a few minutes.

Read more
Movies
9:56 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Jada Pinkett Smith: Respect For Angela Davis' Turmoil ... And Hair

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:15 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, it took a while, but you can now see women of color on the covers of so-called mainstream women's or lifestyle magazines. So now we're asking: Should it go the other way? Will there ever be a white woman on the cover of a major black or Latina magazine? We'll talk about that in a few minutes.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Lululemon's Product Chief To Depart; See-Through Pants Have Been A Problem

Lululemon clothes at a store in Pasadena, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:03 am

Two weeks after being embarrassed by the news that some of its yoga pants were way too sheer, there's word from Lululemon that chief product officer Sheree Waterson will be leaving the company April 15.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:56 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Historic' Gun Bill To Become Law In Connecticut

A Bushmaster rifle, similar to the type used by Adam Lanza during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and some ammunition magazines. The sale and possession of this type of weapon, and high-capacity magazines, will be severely restricted in Connecticut under new legislation.
Michelle McLoughlin Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:27 am

Saying that on this "profoundly emotional day" he hoped that his state would serve as an example to the rest of the nation, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sat down Thursday at 12:20 p.m. ET to sign into law what's being described as the most sweeping gun control legislation in the nation since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Malloy praised lawmakers and those who helped craft the legislation for coming together "as few places in our nation have demonstrated the ability to do."

Read more
Environment
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Arkansas Oil Spill Sheds Light On Aging Pipeline System

A worker cleans up oil in Mayflower, Ark., on Monday, days after a pipeline ruptured and spewed oil over lawns and roadways.
Jeannie Nuss AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:45 am

Amber Bartlett was waiting last Friday for her kids to come home from school. One of them called from the entrance to the upscale subdivision near Little Rock, Ark., to tell her the community was being evacuated because of an oil spill. Bartlett was amazed by what she saw out her front door.

"I mean, just rolling oil. I mean, it was like a river," she says. "It had little waves in it."

Read more
Around the Nation
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

A Letter On Finding A Husband Before Graduation Spurs Debate

A couple walks past Nassau Hall on the Princeton Unversity campus in Princeton, N.J. A letter to the editor in The Daily Princetonian urging female students to find a husband before they graduate has drawn criticism.
Daniel Hulshizer AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:12 am

More than a week after Susan Patton's letter to the editor of The Daily Princetonian prompted heated criticism, the 1977 Princeton alumna says she still stands by her words.

"I have never had a problem voicing an unpopular opinion if it's heartfelt," Patton tells NPR.

In her letter, Patton wrote to young women attending her alma mater, "Find a husband on campus before you graduate."

Read more
It's All Politics
3:07 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Sen. Landrieu's First GOP Rival Sets In Motion Key 2014 Contest

Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. (right), poses with his family and House Speaker John Boehner at the start of the new Congress, on Jan. 3. On Wednesday, Cassidy announced that he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2014.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 3:44 pm

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, considered among the most vulnerable of the Senate's red-state Democrats facing 2014 re-election, now has at least one potential Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, whose congressional district includes Baton Rouge.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:03 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Side Effects Prompt Patients To Stop Cholesterol Drugs

Lipitor and other statin drugs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 12:57 pm

With one-quarter of adults over age 45 taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, it figures that more than a few people would have trouble sticking with the program.

More than a few, actually.

A big new study of statin use in the real world found that 17 percent of patients taking the pills reported side effects, including muscle pain, nausea, and problems with their liver or nervous system.

That's a lot higher than the 5 to 10 percent reported in the randomized controlled trials that provided evidence for regulatory approval of the medicines.

Read more
National Security
3:02 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

With Eye On Budget, Hagel Seeks Pentagon Changes

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:50 pm

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in his first major policy speech, laid out Wednesday how to deal with threats in an era of tight defense budgets.

Hagel has ordered the Pentagon to take a hard look at how many soldiers and sailors it needs and what types of weapons it buys. He says the Pentagon is at war with itself: There are competing and spiraling costs within the military — for aging weapons, and for health and pension benefits for military personnel and retirees.

Read more
Asia
2:47 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

North Korea Has U.S. And South Korea Rethinking Defense Policies

South Korean marines work on their K-55 self-propelled howitzers during an exercise against possible attacks by North Korea near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:50 pm

North Korea has been a big headache for the United States, with the new leader there saying almost daily that his country is ready to go to war.

Speaking in Washington on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. can't afford to dismiss that talk as bluster.

"It only takes being wrong once, and I don't want to be the secretary of defense who was wrong once, so we will continue to take these threats seriously," he said.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:47 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Stockon, California's Request For Bankruptcy Approved By Judge

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

This week, the city of Stockton in California's Central Valley has been all over the news.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The city of Stockton, California.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Stockton, California.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Stockton, California, is this country's biggest city to go bankrupt.

Read more
Politics
2:47 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Obama Tries To Rally Support For Gun Control Laws In Colorado

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama flew to Colorado this afternoon to rally support for national gun control laws. Colorado recently passed its own laws requiring background checks for all gun purchases and limiting the size of ammunition magazines. In Denver, the president delivered a speech and met with local law enforcement officials and community activists.

Read more
Economy
2:47 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

When Changing Jobs And Retirement Programs, Good Information Can Be Hard To Find

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Let's say you're leaving a job and heading to a new one. You have a 401(k) through your former employer. So now, what do you do with that money? A new study from the Government Accountability Office finds the options are confusing and companies that manage those 401(k)s are not always giving out clear or accurate information, and that can hurt you, the customer, financially. Charlie Jeszeck oversaw the study for the GAO. He's here in our studio. Welcome to the program.

CHARLIE JESZECK: Oh, thank you.

Read more
Beauty Shop
9:37 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Does Leaning In Actually Work For Women At The Starting Line?

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:01 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the New York African Film Festival is getting under way. The festival is in its 20th year now, so we're going to talk about the stories being told by a new generation of African filmmakers. That's coming up.

Read more
Education
9:37 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Lessons From A School Cheating Scandal, Two Decades Later

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:01 am

A local newspaper investigation in Atlanta uncovered widespread cheating in standardized testing, which school officials were indicted for last week. But almost 25 years ago, a doctor in West Virginia coal country uncovered a similar scandal after noticing that standardized test scores in his community were suspiciously high. Host Michel Martin speaks to Dr. John Cannell about his report back then, and other incidents he has been following since.

Shots - Health News
1:04 am
Wed April 3, 2013

In South Jersey, New Options For Primary Care Are Slow To Take Hold

Dr. Madhumathi Gunasekaran examines John Pike at the Northgate II clinic in Camden, N.J.
Emma Lee

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:19 am

Camden, N.J., has serious health problems, with too many people going to local emergency rooms unnecessarily. But progress is being made, albeit slowly.

John Pike, 53, is a Camden resident who used to be a frequent flier at the ER.

Pike has a smoker's cough, and when that cough or pain in his bad hip flared up, he'd go to the ER — maybe eight or nine times a year. But when he did, ER staffers didn't really remember him or his medical history.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:38 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Reality Often Rivals Fiction In Political Corruption Scandals

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara outlines corruption charges against several New York politicians on Tuesday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 4:22 pm

The federal criminal complaint against New York politicians arrested after an FBI sting was a reminder of how often real-life political scandals can read like the imaginings of Hollywood screenwriters.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

'Buckwild' Star Died Of Accidental Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

We told you on Monday about the death of one of the stars of the MTV reality show Buckwild. The Kanawha County, W.Va., Sheriff's Office said there were no signs of foul play in the death of Shain Gandee, 21, his uncle David Gandee, 48, and a third, unidentified person.

Read more
Business
3:03 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

For Legal Pot Sellers, A Big Tax Problem

Erica Freeman of Choice Organics weighs medical marijuana for a customer.
Grace Hood for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 7:56 pm

An obscure tax code provision crafted for drug dealers is giving state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries a headache.

In Colorado, federal income tax rates for dispensaries can soar as high as 70 percent because of a tax code section that does not allow businesses to claim certain deductions.

The section is known as 280E, and it was originally written for illegal drug traffickers. But today it's a thorn in the side of licensed dispensary owners like Erica Freeman.

Read more
Politics
2:30 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Politically-Appointed Ambassadors May Not Be As Effective

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 12:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama is reported to be considering Caroline Kennedy for ambassador to Japan. She would succeed a political appointee in Tokyo, a Silicon Valley lawyer and donor to the Obama campaign. For Britain, Bloomberg News and others report that the Obama campaign finance chair, Matthew Barzun, is the leading candidate. A hedge fund manager, evidently, has the inside track on France. This is an old tradition of generous donors getting plum embassy assignments. And we wondered how it looks these days to career diplomats.

Read more
Education
2:30 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

NRA-Funded Plan Recommends Armed Staff Members In Schools

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

As Connecticut moves toward those tough new gun laws, the National Rifle Association unveiled its own plan today to make schools safer. The gun rights group had promised such a plan last December, just a week after the Newtown massacre.

As NPR's Peter Overby reports, the NRA's proposal, dubbed National School Shield, would put at least one armed guard in every school.

Read more

Pages